Xbox One, PS4, PC, Nintendo Switch, PS5, Xbox Series X
August 9, 2022
Two Point Studios
University can be a fun and rewarding experience if you have the resources to pursue your full potential. On the flipside, you can struggle to succeed because someone made a mess in the planning phase. Two Point Campus puts you in the role of a campus administrator who gets hands-on experience in running a university. You will slowly learn the basics of creating an esteemed and profitable university, which encourages student success to earn a profit. You are going to make a lot of mistakes, but you’ll feel proud of yourself once you finally get the fundamentals down.
Two Point Campus is a management simulator with a lot of depth, and you will go through several universities to learn everything you need to know. Every university is a chance to learn something new while building on the fundamentals that you established in previous campuses. You need to ensure that students have all the tools necessary to succeed, while turning a profit to keep your campus running.
The pace can feel slow but it works to the player’s advantage. Being thrown into the deep end will cause you to forget something important, which ends up leading to a game over sooner than you think. Slowly teaching you the basics gives you time to practice what you learned, while giving you new information to try out. It may feel like handholding, but it does a good job in ensuring that you know what you are doing before moving on to the next campus.
Your time at the university is split up into academic years. You will deal with a small number of students with one building at the beginning, but you will be expected to grow your university and bring in more students. To progress through universities, you will have certain objectives to achieve, which may take multiple academic years. Every academic year will also have new requirements to prevent players from getting complacent as they bring in more students.
For a casual player of management sims, it can be frustrating to see extra requirements tacked on when you are struggling to break even. By forcing you to actually react to growing requirements, you have to take a hands-on role and put the game’s teachings into action. It is trial by fire, but it is a rewarding feeling when you are successful after multiple failures. You succeed even with the increasing requirements and the challenges thrown at you, and it is no small accomplishment when your plans are constantly at risk of being derailed by something you forgot about.
While the core management is the same, every campus provides different challenges to keep gameplay fresh. One university focuses on robotics and requires actual progress to be made on robot construction. Another will focus on the ancient tradition of medieval knighthood, and will have you deal with student invasions from other schools. Universities will cover a variety of subjects, from traditional coursework to outright absurd subjects like spycraft and magic. It’s ridiculous, but it provides a good amount of levity to the game and keeps you wondering what the next campus will offer.
Your goals are the same with every campus; make it into a profitable place where the next leaders of tomorrow will be trained. There will be objectives to check off to get star rankings, but you are otherwise given free reign of how you want to manage the university. You can decide what research projects you want to focus on, what decorations you want to put around, and what structures are more important than others. The freedom is liberating because it means there are multiple ways to achieve your goals, and you’re not stuck with a certain method as long as you stick with the game’s principles.
“There is no single way to succeed, allowing you to be creative on how you reach your milestones.”
Want to fulfill your student’s meal needs with only vending machines? Go for it. Want one giant dormitory fitting a hundred students? Sure. Do you want the only events in the school revolving around the student lounge? Sounds efficient. Even as you tackle the objectives, you’re making your vision of what the campus should be. This keeps you immersed in the game, as you get to put your own spin on the “assignment” to make it your own.
Each university gets progressively more complex to manage, and you will get new features to help you. From counseling students to providing stages for musicians, there are many facilities as well as objects that will help you achieve your goals. There are also research projects and upgrades that you can use to make your university even better. Research stays with you, even as you change campuses, allowing you to reap the benefits of your research as you play. You can also unlock additional items with special coins known as kudosh that you earn by completing objectives. Additionally, you can host more than one subject at a university, such as Robotics and Athletics, or Potions and Gastronomy.
Two Point Campus wants you to create the campus of your dreams, and provides almost every resource imaginable to help you do that. It’s not a sim that only touches the surface of an industry, but it goes in-depth to challenge you and bring out your inner campus administrator. You aren’t just providing students with a place to learn; you are doing everything in your power to make sure that everyone’s needs are taken care of. Giving you the full experience results in a sim where you can spend hours learning how to play, and easily spend weeks trying to create the campus of your dreams.
Gameplay can be frantic, with many things to keep track of. It helps that there is a radio show that constantly plays in the background which talks about unrelated, but funny campus topics. It doesn’t help you by mentioning anything serious that’s going wrong, instead choosing to focus on topics you would normally hear on a campus radio station, like a school protest or tips for campus life.
These topics will never be covered seriously; you can hear the sarcasm and lack of care dripping from some radio programs. But it provides a sense of humour that makes you chuckle as you play, and provides a small amount of calm to your situation. The radio show reminds you that while you should be focused on making your campus a success, it’s just a management sim and you should have a good time when playing.
The people in every campus will largely react to your new measures and construction, such as building a new room or removing furniture that they are using. Your decisions will be played out in real-time, and you will get quick feedback to see if your efforts worked as intended. However, there are times where it seems those people can be oblivious to your constructions at inconvenient times. For example, it’s not uncommon to see people requesting more bathrooms or showers for hygiene. But when you build them, people can pass by looking for a bathroom despite having constructed an entire row of new bathrooms.
This wouldn’t be bad if it didn’t negatively impact your students’ performance, or force your staff to focus more on a bathroom than their work/research. This happens with other needs as well, and it can be troubling to have your campus’ success suffer when everyone occasionally seems to act against their own desires. It would be one thing if you didn’t build enough bathrooms, or you forgot to maintain your bathrooms and they are actually broken. It’s another to see people walk by perfectly good and free bathrooms despite actively displaying their need to use one.
It doesn’t seem to apply across all structures, as private tutoring or dormitories will rarely run into this problem. But it can still disrupt your gameplay because you might have hired staff or taken out a loan to build something, only to see your new construction not be used. It might take some time for people to notice and use the facilities, but you are left with a big expense while you wait for that to happen.
Two Point Campus delivers a great management experience that puts you firmly in the driver’s seat and prevents you from getting complacent. It’s difficult to get bored and there are always new challenges to test your skills. It’s not perfect and the flaws do show, but if you like management sims, it’s hard to not enjoy the humour and fast paced challenges that Two Point Campus has to offer.
- New requirements keep the player involved during the game
- You progressively get better as you work in new campuses
- Humour and new challenges prevent the game from going stale too quickly
- Every facet of university life is covered in gameplay
- It can feel like the game is holding your hand at times
- The knowledge can be difficult to apply for a casual sim player
- People occasionally struggle to use facilities you made for them
Two Point Campus takes its time to teach you the fundamentals of running a successful university, with free reign on how you complete your objectives. The depth of the resources given to you and the amount of customisation for each of your campuses shows great attention to detail. The game is filled with wacky, silly, and sometimes dry humour that you can’t help but laugh at. While there are annoying inconveniences, success is still in your hands. It can be hectic, but you won’t find a better university management sim than this.